Friday, March 30, 2012

Do QR Codes work for Commercial Real Estate?

I provide location advice to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in Southern California. I believe that QR codes are very misunderstood and more importantly misused in the commercial real estate industry. I will attempt to explain why and share with you the ways that using QR codes (or MS Tags) do work.

What are QR codes anyway? QR codes or Quick Response codes are two dimensional bar codes that allow the author to embed text, URLs, phone numbers, or vcards. They are free and easy to produce and are "open source" meaning they can be created by many companies, and each company’s code reader should be able to read every other company’s QR codes. Meanwhile, Microsoft Tag’s technology is closed, meaning you can only create and scan Microsoft Tags using Microsoft’s platform. While some believe the open nature of QR codes will help them gain traction and become more widespread in the market place, others argue that by controlling the entire scanning process, Microsoft will be better able to assure quality, and thus rise to the posted by Nicole Hall, Account Manager with Mobilize Worldwide.

You will need a QR code reader application for your smart phone or tablet. I use the AT and T scanner on my IPhone and IPad and it works great. The website for scanning MS Tags is

What is the best use for tags in commercial real estate? In my opinion, tags (whether QR codes or MS tags) should supply content that is easily viewable or usable on a mobile format. As an example, if you scan the QR code that is at the top left of the blog, my contact information automatically drops into your contact manager so you don't have to insert the information manually...or have your assistant accomplish it. I proudly display this code on my business card and I get a lot of questions and the wow factor is epic! Folks that I meet and exchange cards have an easy way to save my information so that I don't end up in a stack of cards in their drawer.
Another great way to use tags is embed video. Remember, the four things that can be embedded into a tag are text, phone numbers, URLs, and, vcards. Well guess what, video content loaded into You Tube has a URL that can be captured and embedded...simple. Using tags and embedded video content allow you to communicate a message that a static website cannot accomplish. Below are a couple of examples of video embedded QR codes and MS tags. Both of these codes have been used in successful marketing campaigns.
Have fun creating your tags and you will unleash the power of scanning!

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